Day of the Fighters by Nicolas Trudgian. (B)
The pilots of I Gruppe JG-1 were up early on August 17th 1943. It was high summer, and even as the first streaks of light appeared in the sky to the east, four pilots got airborne out of Deelan, Holland, and headed for the coast. It was the first routine reconnaissance of the morning. By 0730 German listening services were picking up signals indicating large formations of enemy aircraft assembling to the west of Great Yarmouth, south east England. By 0800 it was clear to the German interceptor fighter groups stationed in Holland that this was going to be no ordinary day. Shortly after 0930 the first wave of a force of some 375 B-17s and B-24s, heavily escorted by fighters, started crossing the Dutch coast south of the Scheldt estuary, their destination Schweinfurt and Regensburg. They were shadowed by the German fighters of 1, 2 and 3 Gruppe along thei entire route over Europe. When the Allied fighter escort turned back at the limit of their range, the Luftwaffe fighters made their attack. It was the start of a day of incessant aerial combat which raged all the wway across Holland, Belgium and Germany, and all the way back to the coast again as the Americans returned to England. It was one of the longest air-to-air battles of the war and became known by the Luftwaffe pilots as the day of the fighters.
|Item Code : DHM2661B||Day of the Fighters by Nicolas Trudgian. (B) - This Edition|| Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price!|
|PRINT|| Limited edition of 75 publishers proofs. |
Last 14 copies of this sold out edition, with the added signature of Gunther Kolb..
| Paper size 35 inches x 24.5 inches (88cm x 62cm)|| Grislawski, Alfred |
+ Artist : Nicolas Trudgian
|£60 Off!||Now : £420.00|
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|Signatures on this item|
Hauptmann Alfred Grislawski (deceased)
|Alfred Grislawski joined 9./JG52 in 1940, quickly becoming an Ace. An outstanding fighter pilot, his air victories were 133 in over 800 combat missions until he was severely wounded. he was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves. Died 19th September 2003.|
Major Gerhard Schopfel (deceased)
|Gerhard Schopfel was Staffelkapitan of 9./JG26 at the outbreak of war, and became Kommandeur of III./JG26 in August 1940. In December 1941 he succeeded Adolf Galland as Kommodore of JG26 until Januray 1943. Later, Kommodore of JG4 and JG6. He flew over 700 combat missions, achieving 40 victories, all in the West. He was awarded the Knight's Cross in 1940. Died 17th May 2003.|
Oberleutnant Adolf Glunz (deceased)
|Adolf Glunz served with 4/JG-52 on both the Channel Coast and then in Russia. Returning to the English Channel with II./JG-25 he became one of the most successful fighter pilots on the Western Front. Adolf Glunz saw combat continuously right up to the war end and, remarkably, was never shot down or wounded in over 574 missions, many whilst flying the Fw190. Awarded the Knight's Cross in 1943, he acheived a personal score of 71 victories. He died 1st August 2002.|
|Unteroffizier Gunther Kolb (deceased)||Gunther Kolb joined I./JG5 in the autumn of 1944 under the command of Major Weissenberger. A few weeks later, at the end of that year he was posted to join IV./JG5 in norway, where he flew both Me109s and Fw190s on coastal and shipping patrols until the end of the war.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Fw190||The Focke-Wulf 190 development project began in 1937. Conceived as a hedge against total dependence on the Messerchmitt 109, the 190 was designed by Kurt Tank utilizing a radial engine. This was against generally accepted design criteria in Germany, and many historians believe that the decision to produce a radial engine fighter was largely due to the limited manufacturing capacity for in-line, water-cooled engines which were widely used on all other Luftwaffe aircraft. Despite these concerns, Tanks design was brilliant, and the 190 would become one of the top fighter aircraft of WWII. The first prototype flew in mid-1939. The aircraft had excellent flying characteristics, a wonderful rate of acceleration, and was heavily armed. By late 1940 the new fighter was ordered into production. Nicknamed the butcher bird, by Luftwaffe pilots, early 190s were quite successful in the bomber interceptor role, but at this stage of the war many Allied bombing raids lacked fighter escort. As the war dragged on, Allied bombers were increasingly accompanied by fighters, including the very effective P-51 Mustang. The Allies learned from experience that the 190s performance fell off sharply at altitudes above 20,000 feet. As a result, most Allied bombing missions were shifted to higher altitudes when fighter opposition was likely. Kurt Tank had recognized this shortcoming and began working on a high-altitude version of the 190 utilizing an in-line, water-cooled engine. Utilizing a Jumo 12-cylinder engine rated at 1770-HP, and capable of 2,240-HP for short bursts with its methanol injection system, the 190D, or Long Nose or Dora as it was called, had a top speed of 426-MPH at 22,000 feet. Armament was improved with two fuselage and two wing mounted 20mm cannon. To accommodate the changes in power plants the Dora had a longer, more streamlined fuselage, with 24 inches added to the nose, and an additional 19 inches added aft of the cockpit to compensate for the altered center of gravity. By mid 1944 the Dora began to reach fighter squadrons in quantity. Although the aircraft had all the right attributes to serve admirably in the high altitude interceptor role, it was not generally focused on such missions. Instead many 190Ds were assigned to protect airfields where Me-262 jet fighters were based. This was due to the latter aircrafts extreme vulnerability to Allied attack during takeoff and landing. The 190Ds also played a major role in Operation Bodenplatte, the New Years Day raid in 1945 which destroyed approximately 500 Allied aircraft on the ground. The High Command was impressed with the 190Ds record on this raid, and ordered most future production of the Doras to be equipped as fighter-bombers. In retrospect this was a strategic error, and this capable aircraft was not fully utilized in the role for which it was intended.|